Selling is Linear, Winning is Circular – are the things you do of real value to others?
Look at your customers business through a different lens to identify untapped profit potential by creating value for others.
Your organization has likely developed a sales process in some form mapping the process from finding and meeting prospects through to closing sale and tracking activities post sale. Known as a linear sales transaction, this process simply takes you from point A to point B. This is where many organizations close the loop in the sales cycle and leave it at that. Selling is linear however winning is different, it’s circular.
Winning can be defined in many different ways. For example, it can be retaining or recruiting top talent, identifying hidden opportunities leading to revenue growth, geographic expansion or aligning your employees’ personal purpose with your overarching business purpose and creating real value for others. Most organizations fall victim to being trapped in their own linear sales process instead of looking at their business through a different lens to identify untapped profit potential by creating value for others.
The concept of selling being linear but winning is circular is about the intersection of purpose. The first step is getting to the heart of what people care about … your employees, your clients, your stakeholders and ensuring that is aligned with your clear, strategic corporate purpose. The second step is fully understanding the business landscape in which they work. It is between these two areas, that the ideal win-win lives 100 per cent of the time.
The concept of selling being linear but winning is circular is all about the intersection of purpose and value
Step 1: Getting to the Heart of What People Care About – Understanding Motivations and Goals
What do people care about? This varies across the different members of your organization. It’s important to dive deeply into understanding your employees, clients, stakeholders and partners expectations and motivators and create value for them. Once you understand what each group cares about, the next step is to tie their motivators back to your organization’s purpose. Your organization’s purpose must also be clear to achieve this. When it is, you will discover discrepancies between which groups and people are truly working towards achieving your organization’s end goals and purpose and whether or not their motivators are aligned with your purpose.
If you discover that not all groups are working in the same direction, then changes are likely needed. Either your organization’s purpose needs to be clarified or you may need to make personnel changes. Alignment of purpose is crucial for growth.
Micro and macro purposes must connect for full impact and value creation for others. For the greatest business outcome, employees’ personal purpose (micro purposes within an organization) must align with the overarching business purpose (macro). Too often today, companies are not clear on their vision and mission and as such, are missing out on critical opportunities for growth. When organizations are not communicating with clarity, nothing is implemented. The heart of any business is at the intersection of Purpose and Drive: employees must have clarity on why things are being done. One question we always ask our clients is: Are the company’s core principles, values and purpose cascading to all levels of the organization? This is where trust forms and relationships are built.
Step 2: Understanding the Business Landscape in Which They Work
You must also look to the business landscape in which your people work. What level of success are you hoping to achieve? How does this outcome contribute to the overall corporate purpose? To achieve this, build a playbook for each division in your organization establishing benchmarks and dashboards to track key activities and progress and clearly define processes while implementing continuous training. When everyone clearly knows their role and have the skills, capabilities and support to execute their role, only then will you reach high levels of productivity and motivation which will result in you winning at your business by creating value for others.
Organizations can excel when they share their purpose internally and externally and connect with people. People want to feel they are making a dent in the universe creating a sense of fulfillment. Purpose is like a compass, people orient to it. In a world of uncertainty and change, your people are a key differentiator.
When micro and macro purposes are connected, the full impact will be more motivated and energized employees, delighted, loyal and satisfied customers and better business outcomes.
Simon Sinek who has given one of the most watched Ted Talks of all time states in a 2017 HBR article, states “Profit isn’t a purpose. It’s a result. To have purpose means the things we do are of real value to others.”
Are the things you do of real value to others?